Kara Michelle Cunningham was born and raised in Bluff Springs, IL. There, she developed a very early interest in combat sports. As a child, Kara spent a great deal of time "acting out" with her WWF and WWE wrestler dolls and her ever-present canine companions. The UFC immediately grabbed her attention, which led her to naming one of her dogs, Tito Ortiz ! It is also rumored that she had a serious "crush" on the Boxer, Oscar "Golden Boy" DeLahoya. Kara attended the historic and landmark "Brick School" ,which notably sent an impressive class of students on to Beardstown High School. Throughout High School, Kara was very interested in sports, and she excelled as a Cheerleader (and later a Cheer Coach). Kara felt an early passion for a career as a Teacher/Educator and turned to Illinois College and Western Illinois University for her Bachelors and Masters Degrees. She is currently serving in that Profession as the Program Director for the Pre-K and Early Childhood Program in the Havana, IL School District. In addition to helping structure and teach Juniors classes, Adult classes and RIPSTRAKE seminars, Kara is an important and integral part of the continual "testing" process in the very physical "mat laboratory" that fosters the aliveness and constant evolution of the AFFKbJ System and its dynamic, effective and contemporary curriculum.